Chelonus (Microchelonus) matilei Braet et Rousse

Braet, Yves, Rousse, Pascal & Sharkey, Michael, 2012, New data on African Cheloninae (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) show a strong biogeographic signal for taxa with spined propodea, Zootaxa 3385, pp. 1-32: 11-14

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.281743

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Chelonus (Microchelonus) matilei Braet et Rousse

sp. nov.

Chelonus (Microchelonus) matilei Braet et Rousse  , sp. nov.

( Figs 30–36View FIGURES 30 – 36)

FEMALE (Holotype). Body length 2.6 mm, forewing length 2.5 mm.

Head ( Figs 31, 36View FIGURES 30 – 36). Head 0.76 x as length as height (in lateral view). Antennal socket inserted near middle level of eye, not acute. Antenna with 14 flagellomeres. Scapus 2.40 x as long as wide, equal to first flagellomere, without apical lobe. First flagellomere 6 x as long as wide, equal to second (five first flagellomeres almost equal in length). Penultimate flagellomere 2 x as long as wide, 0.50 x as long as first segment, shorter than apical segment. Eye length 3 x length of temple (in dorsal view), 1.90 x as high as broad, with dense, short setae. Maxillary palpus of normal length (ending between fore and middle coxa). Clypeus flattened in lateral view, with slightly convex lower margin, without apical teeth, weakly punctate. Malar suture absent but presence of several fine rugae running from base of eye to base of mandible. Malar space 1.50 x basal width of mandible, 0.43 x eye height. Face straight in lateral view, punctate (but presence of weak longitudinal striae between base of eye and base of mandible), with dense, short setae. Temple not swollen in dorsal view, smooth (with scattered punctations), with short, sparse setae. Frons smooth, flat, without carina between antennal socket, without lateral carina. POL 1.70 x ocellar diameter, 0.83 x OOL. Vertex smooth, punctate, with short, sparse setae. Occipital carina complete, joining hypostomal carina at mandible.

Mesosoma ( Figs 32, 35, 36View FIGURES 30 – 36). Pronotum punctate, dorsally without modifications. Ventral sides of pronotum laterally smooth. Mesosoma 1.44 x as long as wide in lateral view, 1.37 x as long as wide in dorsal view. Mesoscutum sharply raised anteriorly, at right angle with pronotum, medio-anteriorly areolate, median lobe without median groove anteriorly. Mesoscutum with short, sparse setae. Surface of mesoscutum medially areolate near scutellar sulcus, punctate elsewhere. Notaulus entirely absent. Mesonotal suture present and straight. Scutellar sulcus 7.50 x as wide as long, 1.50 x as long as scutellum, smooth. Scutellar sulcus with six complete carina. Scutellum laterally rounded, flattened in lateral view, areolate (laterally) but smooth medially. Subalar groove areolate. Mesopleuron areolate, with short, sparse setae. Precoxal sulcus absent. Surface of mesosternum weakly punctate-areolate. Propodeum 0.38 x as long as mesosoma (in dorsal view), areolate, carinated areas completely absent anteriorly. Propodeum vertical posteriorly, with short, sparse setae. Propodeal transverse carina distinct (as high as neighboring sculpture) with two long spines laterally and two (sometimes acute) angles/tubercles medially; median tubercles short (as long as wide) and closer to each other than to lateral ones. Lateral spines 4 x their transverse width, straight, with rounded apex. Surface of metapleuron areolate with short, sparse setae. Metapleural flange absent. Wings: Pterostigma 3.10 x as long as wide. Marginal cell of fore wing closed distally. Vein r 0.60 x as long as vein 3 - SR, 0.16 x as long as vein SR 1, 0.36 x as long as vein 2 -SR. Vein 2 -SR of fore wing present. Vein 1 -SR+M absent. Vein r-m of fore wing with wide bulla. Vein cu-a of fore wing postfurcal. Vein CU 1 a (relative to vein 2 -CU 1 of fore wing) not interstitial, arising behind middle of distal vein of subdiscal cell (vein CU 1 a present basally as short sclerotized stub). Vein CU 1 b postfurcal with m-cu. First subdiscal cell of fore wing closed distally (vein 2 cu-a present). Vein 2 – 1 A long. Hind wing vein 1 -SC+R present. Subbasal cell of hind wing distinctly enlarged. Hind wing vein M+CU 0.75 x as long as vein 1 -M. Hind wing vein r absent, m-cu absent. Basal cell of hind wing closed. Hind wing vein cu-a present. Legs: Femora not swollen. Hind coxa shortened, dorsally and ventrally smooth. Hind femur 3.50 x as long as wide. Hind femur with sparse setae, dorsally and ventrally smooth (somewhat sparsely punctate). Hind tibia 5 x as long as wide, 3 x as long as hind basitarsus, without very long setae (not longer than tibia width), apically without specialized patch of setae on its inner side. Hind basitarsus 5 x as long as wide, 0.65 x as long as tarsomeres 2–5.

Metasoma ( Figs 32–34View FIGURES 30 – 36). Metasoma without visible sutures on carapace. Carapace longitudinally rugose-areolate anteriorly, areolate dorso-posteriorly, with transverse weak rugae apically in rear view. Carapace without apical opening. Carapace with short setae, its ventral opening 0.9 x as wide as its full length. Ovipositor sheath 0.13 x as long as metasoma. Ovipositor sheath apically weakly spatulate and with straight, short, thin setae.

Color. Scapus and pedicel yellowish, all flagellomeres brownish. Head blackish, mandible (excepted apex) and palpi yellowish, mandible apically brownish. Mesosoma blackish. Pronotum ventrally, tegula and apex of lateral spines on propodeum yellowish. Fore wing hyaline, veins and stigma yellowish. Coxae, femora, tibiae yellowish but hind tibia infuscate; fore tarsus yellowish, mid and hind tarsi strongly infuscate; hind tibial spurs whitish. Carapace mainly blackish apically, with long medio anterior rufous patch and presence on lighter small patch on the middle of carapace. Ovipositor sheath rufous.

Hosts records. None.

Morphological variation. Carapace with apical opening (on male) large and oval, opening 3 x as long as wide. Rugae on vertex deeply impressed, face heavily punctate, hind coxa pale brownish latero-ventrally. The white patch on metasoma 0.60-0.80 x as long as carapace length. Carapace baso-laterally often whitish.

Comments. Although more than 500 species (24 in Ethiopian region) have been described, the actual affinities of Chelonus  ( Microchelonus  ) spp. cannot be properly determined without a comprehensive revision. Chelonus (M.) matilei  sp. nov. and C. (M.) merdicus  sp. nov. together form a new species-group characterized by the presence of small lateral spine-like apophyses and a large dorsal white patch on carapace. We have seen at least two other undescribed taxa from Reunion differing in the shape of the apical opening of carapace, the apical sculpture of carapace, the sculpture on vertex, and the color of scapus and hind coxa. They superficially resemble Chelonus (Microchelonus) curvimaculatus Cameron, 1906  ( Figs 45–47) but the undescribed species from the Reunion have no propodeal spines.

Etymology. From the name of the collector, L. Matile.

Distribution record. Ethiopian ( Mauritius Island).

Type material. Holotype: Ψ ( MNHN): "Muséum Paris, Ile Maurice, Forêt de Macchabé, 19.III. 1981, L. Matile". Paratypes: 2 ɗɗ ( MNHN), "Muséum Paris, Ile Maurice, Forêt de Macchabé, 19.III. 1981, L. Matile"; Ψ (Cirad-PVBMT), Reunion "St Pierre / Bassin Martin, Station expérimentale de l’Armeflhor, parcelle AB, alt.

290m, XII. 2010, tente Malaise"; ɗ (Cirad-PVBMT), Reunion "St Pierre / Montvert les Hauts, verger de manguiers AB Valatchy (partie non fauchée), alt. 600m, III. 2011, tente Malaise"; ɗ (Cirad-PVBMT) Reunion "St Paul / Tan Rouge, exploitation AB Glénac, alt. 800m, II. 2011, tente Malaise". Additional material: ɗ (IDR), Reunion "St Denis / La Providence, sur fougère aigle, alt. 600m, II. 2006, battage".


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle